Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said Thursday he called on the state National Guard to start withdrawing from the City of Ferguson.

"As we continue to see improvement, I have ordered the Missouri National Guard to begin a systematic process of withdrawing from the City of Ferguson," he said in a statement Thursday.

Nixon ordered the Guard to deploy around a Unified Command Center in Ferguson to protect it from attacks by protestors frustrated over the fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Brown's office said Thursday the situation in the city has "greatly improved." Protests have remained more or less peaceful and there are few acts of violence, he said.